A MORE IMPORTANT TEST

If any preseason game is worth watching, it's always the next-to-last because that's the one that most closely resembles the regular season.<p>That certainly holds true for tonight's Dolphins game at Green Bay. Coach Dave Wannstedt has said his starters will play into the third quarter for the first and only time this preseason. The idea is to get the first-teamers to go through halftime adjustments.<P>

What follows is a quick look at Saturday night's game against Green Bay

WHO: Miami Dolphins (1-2 in the preseason) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-1)

WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.

KICKOFF TIME: 8 p.m. ET

TELEVISION: No national television (shown locally on WFOR-TV, Channel 4)

LINE: Green Bay by 2 ½

COACHES: Green Bay, Mike Sherman (2nd year); Miami, Dave Wannstedt (2nd year in Miami, 8th year in NFL)

PRESEASON SERIES RECORD: The teams are tied 4-4

LAST PRESEASON MEETING: 2000 at Miami, Dolphins 17, Packers 14

INJURIES: Dolphins — DT Tim Bowens (knee), WR LaVell Boyd (ankle), T Anthony Cesario (knee), FB Deon Dyer (hand), WR Oronde Gadsden (flu), LB Morlon Greenwood (foot), RB J.J. Johnson (knee), TE Alonzo Mayes (shoulder), WR O.J. McDuffie (toe), CB Patrick Surtain (knee), WR Dedric Ward (foot) are out; K Olindo Mare (foot) is probable.

Packers — TE Tyrone Davis (hamstring), DT Santana Dotson (knee), WR Antonio Freeman (concussion), CB Kevin Kaesviharn (back), RB Dorsey Levens (hand), DE DeAngelo Lloyd (ankle), DE Jamal Reynolds (ankle) and DE Steve Warren (knee) are out; LB Na'il Diggs (groin) and RB Ahman Green (groin) are doubtful; S Chris Akins (groin) is probable.

WHEN THE DOLPHINS HAVE THE BALL: The Dolphins focused on the long ball against San Diego, partly because the San Diego defense gave them some opportunities to go deep. Against Green Bay, what the Dolphins want to do is establish their running game. Look for Lamar Smith to get about a dozen carries during his time in the game. Jay Fiedler has been very sharp in the preseason, and the Dolphins have to hope that continues. With Oronde Gadsden out of the lineup, rookie Chris Chambers will get the starting assignment. As always, keep an eye on the left tackle spot, where Marcus Spriggs and Spencer Folau might both get playing time with the first-team offense.

WHEN THE PACKERS HAVE THE BALL: Except for one drive by San Diego, the Dolphins' first-team defense has been dominant in the preseason. It wouldn't be surprising if that continued Saturday night because Brett Favre will be without Antonio Freeman and Dorsey Levens, and possibly Ahman Green as well. The players to keep an eye on as far as the Dolphins defense is concerned are safety Daryl Porter, who is in a battle with the injured Shawn Wooden for a roster spot, and young defensive ends Otis Leverette and Adewale Ogunleye, both of whom might make the team.


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